May 6, 2015
Introduction: In this episode of the Ben Greenfield fitness podcast: The Best Way To Measure Body Fat, Exercising In The Heat vs. Sauna Training, Should You Use Colloidal Minerals, The Healthiest Way To Clean Water Bottles, How To Increase Pain Tolerance During Workouts and more!
Welcome to the Ben Greenfield fitness podcast. We provide you with everything you need to know for total performance, fat loss, recovery, digestion, sleep, brain, and hormone optimization. So whether you’re an Ironman tri-athlete, or you’re just wanna shed a few pounds, get ready for non-run-of-the-mill, cutting edge content from bengreenfieldfitness.com.
Brock: Ben, you sound different this morning.
Brock: Somehow… I don’t know. Fresher?
Brock: Banter, cleaner?
Ben: Cleaner. I’m actually picking fresh spinach out of my teeth, so I’m about the ‘cleaner’ part. But I’m actually pretty stoked ‘cause the garden is all springing up now. We have a giant garden with these eight raised garden beds and about twelve feet of deer fencing surrounding the whole thing so the – the white-tail deer don’t eat our green goodness. But I went out there this morning, and I picked some fresh spinach and some romaine lettuce for my morning smoothie. I was actually… I was – I was nude while I was picking my greens so I felt very, very natural.
Brock: That’s why you sound so fresh!
Ben: Well it’s…
Brock: You were stripping this morning.
Ben: No, actually, it’s a bio-hack. It’s a bio-hack. I do a little morning cold swim alright? I get in there and I’ll swim for five or ten minutes and then I air-dry. I think I’ve mentioned this on podcast before, by the way, walking nude through the forest. And so, I harvested all of my greens out there drip drying and air drying myself nude and I went in and made my morning smoothie. And just in case all of our listeners are now disgusted with that vision in their heads, please know that I – I now am clothed. I am wearing my – I’m wearing my Timex hoodie and my shorts and I’m clothed.
Brock: You know, sometimes I feel like you’re only a stone’s throw away from the Manson family.
Ben: Mmm. (chuckles) I think that was before my time. Is that – is that up there at the una-bomber?
Brock: Ah. There was a predecessor to the una-bomber. We’ll put it that way.
Ben: Alright. Great, I’ll take it.
Brock: Whether he’s nude, whether he’s fully clothed, whether he’s making a smoothie or not, Ben is constantly tweeting stuff on Twitter.com/BenGreenfield.
Ben: That’s right. I actually have a phone embedded in my arm to allow me to tweet more efficiently.
Brock: I’d like the vision of you naked in the forest but with an iPad.
Ben: That’s right. So…
Brock: Nothing but an iPad.
Ben: I do have a few interesting things that I discovered on the internet this week that I wanted to let folks know about. First of all, calculating your resting metabolic rate besides…
Brock: I was hoping you’d cover this.
Ben: Yeah. There’s always seems to be something that throws people for a loop like how do you figure out a good, accurate but easy way to figure out how many calories that you’re burning during the day. And…
Brock: I’m not sure if it was because it was on Twitter and it had to be 140 characters or less but I did not follow this, this arithmetic.
Ben: Okay, the arithmetic is actually pretty easy. So here is what I tweeted out. I said a super simple but accurate equation for finding your resting metabolic rate if you already know your body fat percentage. And actually, we’ll get into later on this podcast about accurate ways find out what your body percentage is, but that aside, let’s say that you actually know your body fat percentage. Well, a very accurate way to determine how many calories you’re burning each day at rest: just sitting around – that’s your resting metabolic rate – is to take the number twelve and to multiply that by your lean body mass. So your lean body mass would be basically everything that’s left over when you subtract the fat, if you would strip all the fat off your body. So let’s say that you body fat percentage is a 10% – you fat piece of lard. So let’s say you’re 10%…
Brock: Hey, I’m actually 9.6 in the last time I checked.
Ben: And you weigh a 180 lbs. then that would mean that 18 lbs. of you is fat, right? If you’re 10% body fat.
Ben: So your lean body mass or your fat-free mass would be a 180 lbs minus 18 which would be a 162 lbs. So you would take 12 and you would multiply that by your lean body mass which would be a 162 lbs. in this case. And then you add 2 times your fat mass and we know that your fat mass, in this case, if you’re a 10% body fat would be that same 18 lbs.
Ben: So 2 times your fat mass would be 36, 12 times your lean body mass would be whatever 12 times a 162 is, and you’ll come up with a number. Let’s – I’m just gonna say on top of my head that number is about 1800 or so. That is 1800 calories as your resting metabolic rate. So, the way that’s this calculation was derived – I actually subscribed to several different research journals but one of the research reports that I subscribed to that’s actually just like a collection of articles and commentaries on the latest and greatest research on strength conditioning, nutrition and etc. is Allan Aragon’s research review. And one of the articles in that review was an article that took all of the different calculations out there. The very complex calculations for figuring out your resting metabolic rate – like one called the Harris Benedict Equation. Which just to give you an idea of the complexity of this versus what you’ve just – what we just talked about – it’s like 66.5 plus 13.7 times weight, plus 5 times height minus 6.8 times your age. Or the Mifflin equation which is another rather complex equation, or the body surface area equation which is: height times .425 times height times .0725 plus a multiplier of .007184 like – there’s a lot of different equations out there for figuring out your resting metabolic rate, and while the good standard would be to get what’s called an indirect calorimetry test.
Ben: Which is where you actually go into a sports performance lab or a hospital or you know, in some kind of a metabolic laboratory actually have this measured. The next best thing, especially if you’re like a – say a personal trainer working with a lot of people and you wanna give them a ballpark or you just wanna ballpark for yourself, is to take this pretty simple equation of 12, times your lean body mass plus 2 times your fat mass. And it turns out, based on this article and all the different calculations that they did in this article. That is actually a really dang accurate way to get your resting metabolic rate. So, I thought it would be an interesting one to tweet and again, a very simple – 12 times your lean body mass, plus 2 times your fat mass, and we’ll put it in the show notes too.
Brock: In pounds, not kilograms.
Ben: Ah, yes. That’ll be in pounds, and the show notes for this episode over at bengreenfieldfitness.com/316 and I’ll also link to some helpful resting metabolic rate calculators that I have over at GetFitGuy.com if you do want to try the calculator. But if you just want something that’s super simple and that’s it. That’s how it works. So there we go few Math heads out there.
Ben: Yeah. And by the way I am one of those people that actually sucked at Math all the way up until college. And I was actually under the impression that – that some people are right brained, some people are left brained and I was a right brained creative kid who didn’t do well in Math. And then I realize in college once I got highly motivated, that you can actually get good at both left brained and right brained activities. And I wound up going through 400 level Math classes in college with a 4.0 GPA. Who knows? So…
Ben: I’m basically just saying that to brag.
Brock: Okay, it worked. I failed out of grade twelve remedial Math.
Ben: No, but actually the bigger point is you can pretty much learn anything you want to learn. So…
Brock: I believe that.
Ben: So the next interesting article that I tweeted was “4 Ways To Know How Your Beef Is Grass-fed” because I know we have lots of listeners who go the butcher and have a raised eyebrow about whether or not that grass-fed beef is really truly grass-fed and grass finished meaning, not just grass fed and then fed grain for the last eight months of its life or whatever.
Brock: So there’s always to find out without just asking the butcher.
Ben: Uhmm. Yeah, interesting article that appeared on iquitsugar.com – great name for website, by the way. So number one – number one way to tell if your meat is grass finished: the fat will be yellow. Grain-fed beef actually has a thick white layer of fat, but because the fat is higher in omega 3 fatty acids and conjugated linoleic acids and things of that nature, the fat is yellow in grass-fed beef. The next thing is the meat will be tougher. Grain-fed beef has a soft buttery texture and the meat is actually tougher in grass-fed beef which is why grass-fed beef a lot of times, is better for like crock pot meals or slow-cook meals or casseroles.
And grass-fed beef, and this actually disappoints a lot of people, actually isn’t quite as good as grain-fed beef when it comes to just like wanting a soft buttery steak. Now, I would say that if you’re doing a good marinade or you’re pre-digesting your meat, or you’re even using… there’s actually a new product – I don’t know if I mentioned this before to you, Brock. But there’s a product called – it’s electrical muscle stimulation for meat, it’s called Tenderbuck – I think that’s what’s it’s called.
Brock: Oh, yeah. I think we did talk about that.
Ben: Yeah. It’s marketed to hunters, but it’s actually – its look like car battery chargers that you attach to your meat. And it just sends the shock through the meat. Theoretically, you could probably use like a Marc Pro or a Compex electrostim device to achieve the same effect, but it’s a meat tenderizer for the type of meat that has to be chewier like venison, just for example.
Ben: But anyways, grass-fed versus grain-fed, grass-fed actually is a little bit tougher, so.
Brock: You know, I have no problem with a little bit of a tougher meat if it’s got better flavor.
Brock: I don’t know when, I think it’s just lazy North Americans who decided at some point that if food isn’t easy to chew that it must be bad quality.
Brock: We’re just that lazy.
Brock: Softness is equated.
Ben: And while we’re inside this rabbit hole I should mention I actually have a bunch of meat out in my garage curing right now.
Ben: I bought an old used refrigerator off of Craig’s list and then I bought a temperature controller, and a humidity controller. I hooked the temperature controller up to the main plug of the refrigerator. I hooked the humidity controller up to humidifier that I have inside the refrigerator, and I have a fan inside the refrigerator as well which is blowing the humidified air up to meat that I have hanging in the refrigerator. And I’m actually using this refrigerator as a meat curing unit, so I dry rub about 4 lbs. of beef with some juniper berry and black pepper, and sea salt and rosemary and thyme, and now it’s hanging in there for four months basically, curing! So if it works out, I will have some fantastic charcuterie, if it doesn’t work out I will die of mold. So…
Brock: Well said, well said. Chance worth taking.
Ben: Yeah, it could be some great meat. I may just give up the whole podcasting gig and start something like Greenfield beef. Two things though…
Brock: Oh, Bennie’s beef!
Ben: Oh, Bennie’s beef!
Brock: Oh, Bennie’s turkey! Si, si! (Laughter)
Ben: The Family Guy own that. So also, grass-fed beef stronger flavor and taste better. I don’t know if I agree with that or not, I would have to say if that some really tasty grain-fed beef as well, but that’s one thing they list. But it’s not like you’re gonna be standing at the butcher counter asking to taste your raw beef to see whether or not it’s truly grass-fed, but the one that I think is a little bit more practically applicable is the fourth think that they list and that is that there’s less marbling. So grass-fed can still produce some marbling in the muscle, but it’s not as consistent as you see with grain-fed beef. So, I would say that the two of these that are actually practical on when I will look inside the meat case and make a good decision would be: look for yellow fat versus white fat and look for less marbling.
Brock: Yeah, I’d always heard that the marbling was partly a rubbery response to the antibiotics as well.
Brick: And they actually put an antibiotic or bacteria in the ear of the cow that made more fatty muscle meat.
Brock: Which is also some of you which is probably be looking out for.
Ben: Why would you place the antibiotic in the ear?
Brock: I don’t know, I guess it was just the delivery mechanism was just easier to jam it in their ear.
Ben: Mmm. I would think a giant antibiotic cattle suppository would be even better than an ear.
Brock: Yeah, but we know that things don’t often digest or ingest the same ways through the different parts of the body so.
Ben: Mmm, yeah.
Brock: It might just come shooting back out, you know what I mean?
Ben: Yeah, yeah. If the air may actually be a little bit more readily available than the rectum too when it comes to friendliness for the farmer.
Ben: There’s that. And then a complete 180 switch from the rectum of the cow and the just something more interesting.
Brock: Thank goodness!
Ben: Gender-specific injury prevention. This was an interesting article that appeared at the sweat science blog. And the subtitle of this is “Women get injured from the hips down, and men get injured from the feet up.” And this was actually a commentary on a recent study that was published on the Scandinavian Journal of Medicine and Science and Sports. In which they took a bunch of runner who had IT band friction syndrome, which is the ban of a lot of runners frankly.
I’ve had it before, I think you’ve had it Brock.
Ben: I believe that pain in the outside of your knee, you know. It’s something that happens to a lot of athletes. And what they found was that in the women who had IT band friction syndrome, it was related to their hip angle and also to weaker hips. Whereas, with the men, it was related to weak knees and poor foot strike patterns. And so, ultimately the take away here was that when someone gets injured especially when a runner gets injured, it could be worth it depending on a sex of that runner to start with a specific area, particularly in women, pay attention to hip rotation, hip movement patterns, the sacroiliac joint, the weak of the hips and the strength of the hips. Whereas with men, you may want to start by looking at the knees and the feet because since men have narrower hips, fewer injuries arise from the hips in men versus women – whereas men, tend to have more issues with the feet and the knees. So, I thought this was interesting.
Brock: I thought this was just scanning through the article, ‘cause I remember Alex wrote a similar article about this where he basically said that men got injured more because they’re idiots.
Brock: This isn’t the same article, though.
Ben: No, it’s probably a little bit different article even though that makes perfect sense and I’m sure he probably gained a lot of female readers based on that article. But no, this is more related to the child…
Brock: It’s probably more scientific.
Ben: The child barren hips of females and the screwed out feet of males, so.
Brock: And ‘cause we’re idiots.
Brock: So you actually got to go to Onnit while we were in Austin didn’t you?
Ben: I did. And just so you know, while we’re talking about this because otherwise, we’d never talk about them on the podcast. They actually paid us to do it.
Brock: Yes, they paid us.
Ben: But this podcast is actually brought to you by Onnit and if you get to onnit.com/bengreenfield, you can save 10% on any of their functional foods, or their supplements, or their strange fitness gear, like their maces and their kettle bells. But yeah, I actually was down in Austin, Texas and I went to the Franco’s gym at Onnit and I trained there and one of the more interesting things that I experienced was this katsu training. Where we took this digital device made in Japan that allows you to select a specific pressure measured in millimeters of mercury that you apply to either the arms or the legs on this case. And I have a photo over on my Instagram, if you get to instagram.com/bengreenfieldfitness. You can see my arms about to explode with vascularity and just seen blood squirting all of over the room. But basically, it’s like an elastic tubing that attaches around the muscle, it pumps up the elastic tubing with a specific amount of pressure. You check your venous return – your blood flow return, in this case in the palms to make sure that your fingers aren’t gonna turn black and fall off. So you want blood to return into the surface of the hand within about four seconds, right? If you press down, you wanna see they turn white and then turn red again within four seconds. And assuming that you’ve got the thing tighten up that would be the case and then you begin to work out, and it builds up an enormous amount of lactic acid in the muscle tissue so that you increase your ability to buffer lactic acid but though when you take it off, a big burst of nitric oxide and growth hormone is all the blood rushes back into the area that you’ve been working. So that was really an interesting experiment and what you do once you’ve got these elastic bands on as you do three sets of an exercise, that targets the specific area that you’ve restricted blood flow too. So in this case I did inverted rose, I did dead lifts and I did push-ups, right? Because I had my arms attached to this thing and you do three sets for each of an exercise – you take about 20 seconds rest between each – and you just have this enormous blood pump to your extremities after you’ve done it. So…
Brock: So it’s like a super specific scientific way of doing a cushion training?
Ben: Exactly. So I don’t know if you can actually buy this. If you go to onnit.com/bengreenfield and use our 10% discount link when you do that. But you may be able to, I don’t know. We may have listeners with arms and legs falling off right and left here.
Brock: Perhaps. You can definitely get some kettle bells with monkey faces.
Ben: That’s right, you can get those.
Brock: And zombie faces, too. Right?
Ben: That’s right. So a couple other things I wanted to mention aside from that onnit.com/bengreenfield link that you can go explore. The first is that we’ve launched our Quarterly Box!
Ben: So I’m picking my favorite fitness gear and supplements and nutrients and bio-hacks, and putting them on a box and sending them to your house! To your front door step. So please disregard any of the discussion about the unabomber that we had earlier. It’s absolutely nothing to do with this Quarterly. But the Quarterly is kinda cool, every quarter you get a hand-written letter from me – kinda pdf instructions or, I’m sorry, it’s not on a pdf – it’s a real letter. It comes to your house and it comes to your front doorstep and you just get a box. It’s like Christmas every quarter and it’s all of my favorite things that I’ve discovered in the whole fitness, nutrition, and longevity realms. So you can check that out at bengreenfieldfitness.com/quarterly. I wanna say it’s like – I think it’s about a 100 or 150 bucks or so but because Quarterly…
Brock: It’s a hundred-ish.
Ben: Yeah, Quarterly negotiates like bulk discounts with all the people who I endorse you know all these products I endorse, so you get like you know, 200, 300 bucks worth of gear for that price just because there’s just more than you know, one person ordering at least, I hope. So…
Ben: So, Quarterly. And we’ll put a link to that on the show notes too.
Brock: Stop asking all you people who wanna know what’s going to be in the box, it’s a secret for a reason. You know we’re not going to give you a sneak peek.
Ben: It’s like asking what you’re gonna get for Christmas. We’re not gonna tell you.
Brock: Not gonna tell you.
Ben: The last thing that I wanted to mention was if you are in the Northeast, June 3rd thru the 6th is the Nourish Vermont which is a traditional foods and health gathering, and it’s one of this Weston A. Price Foundation, but you go there and you learn about ancestral food prep methods and they’ve got really good like nutrient-dense, local and organically grown vegetables, the whole thing takes place on this big farm. There’s like raw dairy products and fermented foods and grass-fed meats and really, really kind of a cool thing and I’m speaking, my wife is speaking, Jeff Leach will be there. The guy who injected himself with the poop from a Hadza warrior and hung himself upside down and…
Brock: Brave genius.
Ben: Brave or something but to see what would happen to his gut microbiome which I have no clue as I’m assuming he’s gonna be there or he’s dead – one of the two. But he’s at least on the menu or not the menu. We’re not gonna eat him, he’s on the agenda. So yeah, check that out, we’ll put a link to that in the show notes but it’s called Nourish Vermont, and I actually spoke at this last year and it’s worth travelling to if you happen to be anywhere near the area, if you wanna fly out there and go to it so. That’s about it though this week for the…
Brock: I love seeing that Jessa’s off speaking places. That was – she was one of the highlights of Paleo FX this year, for me.
Brock: You wanna know why?
Ben: Ah, because she taught you how to make lotion for your beard? I don’t know. Why would you need facial lotions? Is that what she spoke on at Paleo FX?
Brock: She did, but I actually – I was working on the stage next to hers and she was blending things vigorously while a friend of ours Dave Asprey was speaking on the keynote stage.
Ben: Oh, great! I’m sure Dave…
Brock: It was. It was pretty awesome every time Dave try to hit a point, there’s a big weee! *sound* Yeah.
Ben: Ah. Sounds like our house in the morning with the smoothie making. Well hopefully, Dave survived and ah – I’m sorry, Dave but my wife…
Brock: He’s a pro.
Ben: Makes facial lotions somehow.
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Listener Q & A:
Whole Doods: Hey Ben, I know you talk a lot about cold thermogenesis and also, even working out in the cold. And recently, you talked a lot about saunas and heat exposure, but what about working out in really hot environments? I’m currently in Sierra Leone, I know when I work out I instantly just start sweating like a pig as if I’m in a sauna and my heart rate, I can just tell its super jacked up.
So I was just wondering am I getting any added benefit of combining you know, hot environments with working out. Thanks!
Brock: I had to actually look at the map to see where’s Sierra Leone was.
Ben: Where’s Sierra? I thought Sierra Leone was a crayon color.
Brock: It is! You’re a genius!
Ben: Where is Sierra Leone?
Brock: It’s located right next to the Indian brown and right before the sky blue.
Ben: Oh yeah, of course! But above sunset red.
Brock: Yes, exactly. Right there – sort of bordered by Guinea and Liberia.
Ben: If we talked a little bit about heat exposure and a lot of the benefits that are going to occur with exercising in a hot location or exercising or even sitting in a dry sauna when we had Dr. Rhonda Patrick on and you know, all these physiological adaptations occur to heat acclimation that most of us are all aware of like improved cardiovascular mechanism, a lower heart rate whether during exercise or at rest, lower core body temperature when you are actually exercising, and increase in heat shock protein which basically make you more resilient to stress. You get better blood flow to skeletal muscle, that’s also known as muscle perfusion if you want to impress your friends the next trivia night. You actually get a – because of that increase muscle perfusion, a lot of people don’t know about this, but you get a reduced rate of glycogen depletion. You actually burn through carbohydrates more slowly when you have better blood flow through a muscle.
Ben: You get an increase…
Brock: That kinda makes some sense.
Ben: …for a blood cell count. Yeah, and we talked about this a few ago on the podcast especially if you save your heat exposure for post workout and you go to a sauna for like twenty to thirty minutes post workout. You get an increase in erythropoietin which is a red blood cell precursor and you get increased…
Ben: Increased efficiency of oxygen transport to muscles as well. So there’s all sorts of cool things that happen with heat exposure but the question is, you know, do you get the same thing if you’re just exercising in the heat versus doing a sauna session? And the short answer to that: yes. The longer answer is that you must actually get yourself up to that point where you are uncomfortably hot and where you were to actually you know, swallow one of these thermometers that they have athletes use now in these core heat studies. Where they measure your actual core temperature not how hot you feel you are, but how hot your actual core becomes because a lot of times you can feel hot, but you’re not getting a big increase in core temperature. And it turns out that you need to be at a relatively high temperature in order to get some of the same benefits of heat acclamation that you would get when you’re like sitting in the sauna or even exercising in a sauna. I’m talking about temperatures that exceed 40 degree Celsius which is you know, that around a 1o4 degrees Fahrenheit in order for you…
Brock: I’m looking at Sierra Leone, right now is 86 degrees.
Ben: Mmm-hmm. Yeah, so I mean…
Brock: That’s not hot enough.
Ben: In that condition I mean, sure. You’re gonna get better cardiac output and you’re probably going to train yourself to do things like increase your efficiency of cooling via sweat. You are going to improve your tolerance to exercising at that specific temperature that 80 to 90 degrees, but if you really wanna get yourself to the point where you’re producing a significant amount of huge shock proteins and you’re getting the significant amount of EPO, we’re talking about really high temperatures that can be difficult to replicate in your environment, or that can be difficult to exercise in. And that’s why this whole concept of just like sitting in a sauna that’s at 40 plus degree Celsius, okay? You know a sauna is easily a 110 and 120 degrees Fahrenheit often much more than that. That’s pretty easy at your gym or if you have a sauna in your house to go and sit inside and replicate – that’s a little bit more difficult to hunt down those kind of extremes of temperature in most places. And I don’t think Sierra Leone for example comes close. So understand that there’s a difference between heat acclimation allowing you to exercise better in whatever hot condition you’re preparing for okay? So let’s say, you have a triathlon or marathon or cycling race or something like that – that’s gonna be at 85 to 90 degrees Fahrenheit, well in that type of situation, exercising at 86 degrees Fahrenheit in Sierra Leone is certainly going to prepare you for that. But if you want to take advantage of the significant boost and heat shock proteins, and the increase in erythropoietin and the massive increase in muscle perfusion and even the increase in this brain drive neurotropic factor.
Which is also been shown to increase and improve your growth of neural cells and your IQ basically is what that comes out to cognitive performance. You need a pretty significant amount of heat often a very uncomfortable you may take can be difficult to exercise in and that where – where something like a sauna will come in handy. Now that being said, there is something that I found on the internet called Fellrnr heat suit, that’s spelled f-e-l-l-r-n-r heat suit. And this Fellrnr heat suit actually can allow you to increases heat dramatically whether you’re exercising in a hot or even in a mild condition and it’s just very similar to one of these types of suits that you’d traditionally see like a wrestler wear, right? When they’re trying to sweat off, what do you call those – not the sauna suits but there are – you know what I’m talking about, right?
Ben: They’re a big garbage bag that you’d wear.
Brock: I can’t tell you what they’re called.
Ben: Right, you must’ve never wrestled. Yeah, anyways, it’s called the Fellrnr heat suit and it’s two different layers – it’s a single water proof layer that traps your sweat and prevents your sweat evaporating, right? From cooling your body. And then there’s another layer on top of that – that kinda keeps sweat up against your skin and so you just – its sounds horrible, you know. And me, I’d personally just rather go sit in the sauna and read a magazine and you know, hang out with all guys in there and the Swiss bikini team.
Brock: All the mobsters. That’s right. Anyways though, hopefully that kinda helps to elucidate what you know, true heat exposure is versus like passive heat training and if you want all of the benefits of heat exposure that Rhonda Patrick and I talked about in that episode, you do have to get you know, 40 degrees Celsius plus or 104 degrees Fahrenheit plus.
Brock: Isn’t that the problem with the infrared saunas? They just don’t get hot enough?
Ben: Yeah, so infrared’s saunas , I’ve been experimenting with because I’m thinking about putting one in my house – one of these finished infrared saunas and specifically I’m choosing finished not because it’s sexy but because this specific type of the sauna they build in Finland for an infrared sauna has an electromagnetic field control on it. So you’re actually getting a much, much lower amount of EMF compared to a standard infrared sauna. These are the same type of infrared saunas you’d see a guy like Dr. Mercola selling on his website. The issue though is that the infrared saunas although infrared heat penetrates a good six to eight inches past your skin assuming you’re not wearing clothing doesn’t do good job penetrating clothing. But you know, assuming that you’ve got your skin exposed, you get kind of an inside-out type of heating effect that increases the amount of sweat that you produce quit dramatically and it has, you know – I don’t know, this is an over-used word, but it has a little bit more of a detox effect compared to a regular dry sauna – however, it doesn’t get quite as hot as a dry sauna. But because I’m interested in putting one of these infrared saunas into my home, I actually experimented. What I did was I went on a pretty hard bike ride – I just – I rode like a bad out of hell to my local sauna shop where they have one of these infrared saunas. So I walked in there, all hot and bothered, and I asked them if I could sit in their sauna for thirty minutes. And I called the couple hours beforehand, a.) to make sure it was okay and b.) so they could turn the thing on and heated up. So I walked in there and I parked my bike inside their shop and I walked into the back and sat in this infrared sauna for thirty minutes. And I was really hot, I actually noticed that it felt pretty similar to a dry sauna but apparently they take longer to heat up and you gotta be hot when you walk into. And because I felt pretty hot and uncomfortably hot in there after about half-hour, it’s something that I would be comfortable using assuming that you know you pre-heat the infrared and you go in there after you’ve already worked out, so you actually can get pretty hot on this infrared saunas.
Brock: I just wanna know what was making you so hot and bothered on the bicycle? Especially the “bothered” part. What were you doing?
Ben: The “bothered” was just right into a traffic. The “hot” was just because I was riding like a bat out of hell.
Wade: Ben, this is Wade from South Florida. Got a quick question for you on colloidal minerals. A friend of mine told me to look up this vitamins or more specifically Dr. Joe Wallach who promotes a bunch of different things. But I looked up you know, what he’s deal is and it seems like the main thing that he’s pushing are colloidal minerals. Just wondering what your take is on this. Thanks!
Brock: Colloidal, it’s fun to say.
Ben: I think those minerals just get brownie points just because they got a cooler name.
Ben: And the other type of form of mineral which is called ionic because minerals are found in two different forms so you got this colloid form – that’s c-o-l-l-o-i-d for those of you who like to imagine words in your head. And the colloidal form means that the minerals are suspended in what’s called the stable form, meaning they’re evenly distributed through whatever medium they’re suspended in. So, minerals that are in this colloid state are in this large organized patterns and they remain in suspension without settling out it’s – they’re just basically evenly dispersed in whatever liquid that they come in. And typically, you’ll find colloidal minerals derived from clay or also this – it’s called humus, it’s related to the humus that you’d find in soil. There’s clay or humic deposits and their mind from these deposits and manufacturers will basically say that the supplements that are made from this colloids, this mineral like liquid mineral supplements made from colloidal minerals, are more balanced that other mineral supplements and are in a natural form that is easier for the body to use.
Brock: Because you get them out of whatever there is.
Ben: Yeah. Yeah, they say the colloidal mineral forms are more easily dispersed in the body and in that somehow improve their absorption. But in fact because colloidal minerals are typically larger, and actually unable to often pass through the membrane that lines your digestive tract, they can actually be more difficult to absorb because they don’t defuses easily through a membrane. It’s just you know, simple physics when you have a large variants in mineral size and particle size, what you get is a solution or a particles that more readily pass across a membrane. So when you look at something like ionic minerals, ionic minerals are pretty easily transported across the cell membranes of your digestive tract. And one of the reasons for that is because ionic minerals are actually charged – they actually have an electrical charge – and colloidal minerals in order to have an electrical charge need to be basically dismantled into smaller parts in order to cross the intestinal membrane. And because ionic minerals readily pass across an electrical gradient from the area of higher concentration, in this case your intestinal tract turn the area of lower concentration and in this case your cells, you technically get better absorption of an ionic mineral solution with a charge compared to a colloidal mineral solution. So, just based on chemistry and the simplicity of the electro-chemical gradient, ionic minerals are going to be more readily absorbed just because they’re comprised of atoms or collections of atoms that retain an electric charge whether that’s a positive electric charge or a negative electric charge. So, I would say that based on my understanding of the charge on minerals and also the size of these colloidal minerals, they would actually be less likely to get absorbed compared to how you find most minerals in the body which would be in their ionic form, and how you’d find minerals in most supplements which would be like an ionic mineral form. So I’m only not convinced that colloidal minerals are worth money that you’d spend for them even though I would agree that colloidal is much cooler word than ionic.
Brock: Ionic is pretty cool. I’d be happy with both.
Ben: Yeah, yeah. So, and I actually don’t know who this Dr. Joel Wallach is and I haven’t personally used colloidal minerals too much, so I’m basing everything that I’ve just said on science not on personal use of colloidal versus ionic. I don’t know, maybe if I use colloidal minerals, I would begin shattering world records and I would be in the Olympics so there’s that.
Meg: Hey Ben! This is Meg from Atlanta, Georgia, and I’ve just got a real simple question. I’m wondering what you use to clean you bike bottles and straws with? This is something I’ve been wondering about for a while. I just soak mine in hot water with a little bit of bleach at it and I rinse them real well but I always wonder if that’s the best thing for me.
And anyway, just curious about what you do about that. So, thanks for a great show, loved podcast and keep up the good work! Thanks a bunch, bye.
Brock: Meg, bleach?
Brock: What are you putting in your bottles, girl? What?
Ben: I don’t know. She can do worse than bleach.
Brock: I just, I’ve never felt the need to clean my bottles that thoroughly.
Ben: Dishwashing liquid – that’s pretty nasty stuff. Or I don’t know. What else? Bleach, dishwashing liquid…
Brock: I like vinegar.
Ben: Yeah, vinegar, exactly. So yeah, there’s a lot of different ways to clean a water bottle and I mean obviously if you leave a half-finished drink in your water bottle, it’s gonna turn into a little incubator for bacteria, mold and even though I talked about curing meat in our refrigerator which basically I’ve always growing mold on the meat. I would not recommend curing meat in your water bottle. It’s not gonna taste all that great. So what happens especially for mixing like protein or electrolyte or carbohydrate drinks you’ve got like sugars and proteins and heat and saliva and that’s…
Ben: …just basically gonna be a breeding ground for bacteria and germs you know, whether it’s a standard sports water bottle or like one of these CamelBak-style hydration bladders and you can get pretty sick from these stuff you know. I don’t know if you ever taken a swig off of a water bottle that hasn’t been cleaned properly, Brock. But it’s got mysterious pucker factor to it.
Brock: I like to think that that’s why I haven’t been sick in so many years is because I’ve exposed myself to such a nasty crap all over the world.
Ben: Yeah, and bleach can work. The problem with bleach is it hangs around the water bottle and drinking bleach is not all that great for the good bacteria in your intestinal tract.
Ben: So it could create a little bit of a kinda like a floral dysregulation type of condition if you’re constantly sucking on bleach infused water. So, there are some things that work pretty well, you mentioned vinegar, Brock and just a basic white wine vinegar can work really well when you’ve rinsed out your water bottle with some water, you can use a little bit of soap if you want as long as you rinse the soap out pretty well because the soap can be a little bit of a digestive irritant, but then all you do is you fill your water bottle with some vinegar then you can leave it for few hours – you can even leave it overnight and then you just rinse and dry the bottle and it’s ready to rumble, and this would work in one of those hydration bladders that you’d use like CamelBak or a regular water bottle. Another thing that works really well now is to actually mix into the vinegar some baking soda which removes the odor and can really help with the cleaning process as well. So you get a little bit of ______ [0:42:55:7] but what you do is you mix the baking soda and some vinegar in there and let that settle for about five minutes, and then use a brush or a cloth to clean the inside of the bottle and then you just basically rinse it out. And this works better if you don’t wanna let it – let the vinegar like sit for several hours or sit overnight adding the baking soda accelerates the process, it’s an extra step but allow you to clean a little bit more quickly if you don’t wanna soak it.
Brock: It works well for cleaning the toilet too.
Ben: Yeah, exactly. It’s perfect for the toilet, you could do it probably dump the vinegar and the baking soda from the water bottle into your toilet.
Brock: Ah, you’re genius!
Ben: That’s right. It’s all about efficiency here.
Ben: Of course, it in – you know, I can’t talk about any of these without you know, of course highly suggesting that you choose a BPA-free cycling bottle or water bottle you know, like one of the gold standards in the industry is, like specialized makes one called the Purist and there’s a lot of companies that just white label the specialized Purist bottle and so that as their BPA-free cycling bottle.
Brock: Is that what yours is? Is that the Greenfield Fitness Systems?
Ben: The Greenfield Fitness Systems is not a specialized Purist. It’s a different brand but it’s similar I mean, it’s almost the identical material: bengreenfieldfitness.com/gear – grab it today!
Ben: Boom! Anyways though, I’ll link in the show notes though. If you get to bengreenf – blaaah – bengreenfieldfitness.com that place /316 where the show notes for this episode are. I’ll put a link to some other BPA free water bottles but ultimately I recommend other than the vinegar or the vinegar plus the baking soda. So, Brock may have his own little solutions that he uses as well out there in Canada, I don’t know. Beer? Is that how you guys do up there?
Brock: I just put it in the shower like while showering and just sort of kick it around the bottom of the shower…
Brock: while cleaning myself.
Ben: Yeah. I was talking to your girlfriend down in Austin, Brock, who said that she actually uses beer as shampoo.
Brock: Oh yeah. Yeah, I heard that conversation.
Ben: Yeah, well actually that I think the way that the story went when she was actually – she happened to be drinking beer in the shower ‘cause she didn’t – she had beer and she didn’t want it take it too warm and she needed to finish it off and then kind of came to a realization that she didn’t need just to be drinking, she could also use it to clean her hair. And apparently…
Brock: That’s what we do in our house.
Ben: Gives your hair a nice, shiny, clean appearance. So, there’s that as well. You use baking soda and vinegar for your water bottles, you use beer for your hair.
Lara: Hi Ben and Brock. I was wondering how you would deal with discomfort, extreme pain, and what it takes to get through all of the training and the rules that you set for yourself. One way that I’ve read in popular media is distraction and that would be music. For me, I’ve heard that it helps a really lot of things in working out, I was wondering what your views on this? You never seem to mention it in your training. Thanks a lot and I do have a lot of pain and distraction helps a lot but I was wondering if you have any secrets. Thank you, bye.
Ben: Well Brock, we actually talked about this in a podcast, and I know you’re familiar with this a couple months ago, and there was a study that looked into this and it turns out that swearing is actually the best method.
Ben: You remember that?
Brock: I do remember that.
Ben: Yeah! We looked into that study.
Brock: Curse profusely the entire time you’re working out you can endure anything.
Ben: Uhmm. That’s why people with tourettes are such good runners.
Brock: I don’t think that’s true. I think you made that up.
Ben: No, I do have some things that I do specifically to deal with discomfort and pain whether I am in a race or whether I’m training. And I can share you with some of my little insider tips first if you would like.
Brock: True. Wait, before you start, did you – have you watched the Netflix show the “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt”?
Brock: Oh, it’s a funny show but she at one point talks about how she can do anything for ten seconds.
Brock: So she just counts to ten and repeatedly and she can keep doing anything for as long as she needs to.
Ben: You know what? That’s kinda funny because that is one of my tips. When I have a really hard work-out, I will actually count to 100 over and over again.
Brock: Ah, yeah! I remember you did that in Ironman Kona two years ago.
Ben: Yeah, actually Ironman Hawaii in the last 3 miles of Ironman Hawaii one year, I counted to twenty over and over again. And that’s – and I mean the way that I figured – it’s like, you know what? If I’m really in the thrills of competition and it’s do or die, I can think of worst things than just counting to twenty over and over again. And all you’re doing is just distracting your central nervous system, you’re distracting what’s called you central governor and by keeping it distracted like that you know, it’s the reason that if you are say let’s say you’re doing… I don’t know. I’ll use an example of like an Olympic distant triathlon which has a 10k at the end of it, right? I always tell myself during that 10k – which is about 6, about 6.2 miles-ish, 6.4 miles – I only tell myself is have to run 5 miles, right? Because if you run 5 miles, it’s like the last 1.2, 1.4 miles it’s just adrenaline, right?
Ben: So you essentially tell yourself you got to run just a little bit less than you actually do have to run and then you just run that last mile in pure adrenaline. But I do use counting quite a bit, I’ll count to 100 over and over again and typically, as I’m counting to 100, there’s some kind of a pacing there right? So I’m not just counting randomly, I’m either counting my steps or I’m counting my breath, right? So as I’m counting it, see for example if I’m using like a rhythmic breathing of a two count in and a one count out – it’s in two out, three in, in to two out, in to six in, in two out, eight – you know, as you’re going up, it’s you know, you’re counting with breaths and counting strides also works pretty well. So counting for me does work you know, it’s kinda like this simple, stupid thing. Another thing that I do is I really moderate my use of music because it is true that music is great motivator and I’ve done studies with this as well whether is the RPM of music, whether it is the actual melody of music enhancing alpha brainwave production, whether it’s your favorite tune that really gets you amped up because of the lyrics or because of the melody. The problem with that is that if you constantly work out with music, you become a little bit – you become almost like you used to and tolerance to the effects of music. The same way that you know, if you drink coffee every day of the year without ever giving up coffee, you eventually become tolerant to the caffeine, right?
And so that’s why I always recommend that you take breaks every now and again during the year and switch to decaf. And so with music, a lot of times if I’m working out even if it’s a hard work-out I’ll use podcast, audio books, things that aren’t really like a driving you know, hard core source and motivation. And then I will moderate my use of music only for the very, very difficult sessions like for me, Saturdays are really hard work-out day. I usually have a tough, tough work-out on Saturday and that’s the day well from me, all load up. You know for me its techno, right? Like that’s what really drives me as like you know, some driving house-techno beats like I’ll listen to Felix Cartal, I’ll listen to Tiesto or Planet Perfecto which is Paul Oakenfold or Hardwell On Air – any of these really, they’re just like free 60 to 90 minutes podcast techno beats that you can get off of iTunes. But I don’t use those every day, I only use those very, very rarely so that when I do decide I’m gonna pull out the music, it’s incredibly motivating to me. So, in addition to the counting, I do that. Another thing that I’ll do often for running work-outs that our though is: I will find a way, I’ll find something that pushes me more than I’d normally push myself. In the case like that, a treadmill does work really well for cycling a CompuTrainer works really well. So of course, the treadmill if and they’ve done studies on this, too that show that people who are forced to self-pace a 10k will often run it more slowly than they will if a treadmill is used to pace them on that 10k because the treadmill pushes them just a little bit harder in terms of cadence and speed than they would push themselves. So for example, if I have to do a steady hard thirty minute run, and I need to do that at a tempo pace right from that should be like 9 miles now or a one and a half percent incline in the treadmill. I will get on the treadmill and do it because I know I’ll run a little bit slower. Then I would if or I’ll run a little bit slower off the treadmill than would on the treadmill. A CompuTrainer all that is – is it’s a indoor bike trainer that allows you to set a consistent power – let’s say 300 watts and it will force you to stay at 300 watts no matter how slow you’re pedaling, no matter how fast you’re pedaling it’ll stay at that same power. So if you start pedaling really slower, your cable straps off, things get really, really hard. If you maintain your cadence and your RPM and your tempo, you can maintain that power a little bit more sustainably. And so, any of these like indoor training devices or stationary training devices that force you at this just one of the specific or the move of the specific speed work really well. Swimming, the same thing right? Like if you can get – they sell for example these things called swim metronomes – like there’s one called a Finis, a company called Finis makes one called tempo trainer – you put it in your swim cap and it’s a metronome. And so you’re forced to: beep, beep, beep, beep – maintain a more consistent rhythmic stroke then you would if you weren’t using that metronome, also called a retronome.
Ben: Retronome. Anyways though…
Brock: Have you seen those things at the – I was at the Olympic training center in Victoria watching some of the Olympic swimmers and they had this crazy contraption – that was like a winch on one side of the pool and they hook it up to the back like they place to be a harness, and they put this hook on the back and they were dragged them across the pool so there’s a – you have to, they had to swim at a certain speed otherwise they just sort of keep dragged across the pool.
Ben: Yeah, those work like really well. Those work – that’s more for like over-speed training and you might wanna just get yourself – the problem is that it’s not practical for a lot of people you know, versus like putting a little metronome inside your swim cap like winch band thing is a little bit more tricky that to the average person just whatever going for laps from the seven o’clock in the morning to hook up and do. But that yeah, it’s certainly a way to push yourself is the winch with the bands. Anyways though, now hopefully that makes sense right? Like treadmill and into the bike trainer, some like a pacing device for swim. Another thing that I think kinda flies into the radar is just daily stress resilience. So many people can’t handle a cold shower or can’t handle twenty or thirty minutes in the sauna. Or can’t even handle like you know, for example, doing yoga or doing stretches on just like a hard floor or driveway without like a mat, right? So, there’s all these little things that you can do during the day in terms of little things that build stress resilience and make you okay with discomfort.
And I think just going outside the box maybe keeping your house a little bit cooler than you know, you would normally be inclined to keep it, and maybe if you’re going to stretch or do yoga, do it on a hard wood floor like out in your driveway but try doing it without a mat or just you and your body weight. Or try going without shoes and just barefoot for the day so you don’t have the cushion of your shoe or try you know, my little trick of only sitting to eat – I tell you, so you go to whole day you gotta stand and you know lunch lying in your stomach, lying your back whatever, but you only allow yourself to actually sit when you’re eating breakfast or lunch or dinner. These little things add up when it comes to little daily hormetic stressors that make you – you know there’s a book that that’s called “Anti Fragile” right? Like one of the ideas behind the book is you just increase stressors resilience with these little things that you expose yourself to each day. So I think that that really something that helps me out a little bit as well. So that’s another one that I recommend for pain tolerance.
Brock: I like that one.
Ben: Yeah. A few others: one would be and I learned this from Commander Mark Divine when I went through the Sale Fit Training down in Encinitas and that is prior to your hard work-out or prior to you know, a race or hard effort, rather than just like warming up and launching in, you visualize. And what I’ll do now is I’ll sit cross legged and I’ll do the box breathing for anywhere from two to five minutes. So the box breathing that’s just the four count in, four count hold, four count out, four count hold but you’re not just – you’re not just trying to think of a mantra or block thoughts from coming in and out of your head as you’re doing the box breathing instead you’re actually going through the work-out in your head, right? So let’s say it’s a run where you’re gonna go up a really steep hill you know, across a prairie, down the hill through the forest, back around and back home and you know it’s supposed to be a really hard run that you’re gonna be running at a tempo pace the whole time you’re doing the box breathing, you’re visualizing yourself going through that whole thing – running like the wind, a smile on your face, running smooth, running strong – the same could be set for hard weight training sessions. So it accomplishes two things: first of all kinda primes your mind for the work-out and allows you to mentally rehearse the work-out before it happens, but it also allows you to visualize yourself being a little bit more comfortable during the actual work-out. And I know it sounds a real woowoo but it actually works pretty well so I’m a big fan of the box breathing and usually I’ll do something like that for one or like a complex or difficult weight training work-out. So…
Brock: I don’t think that sounds woowoo at all, that’s exactly the kind of stuff that Dr. Jeff Spencer talks about all the time.
Brock: He worked with the all the Tour de France teams back in the day with Lance.
Brock: That’s just visualization is very, very well established as a technique and that’s just another extension of that.
Ben: Yeah, absolutely. So that’s called the box breathing and there were even apps like the Pranayama app. That’s p-r-a-n-a-yama, Pranayama app works pretty well for that. Two things that I’d recommend, and these are a little bit out there but I think there were one interestingly is this whole concept of electrostimulation and the reason for that in the whole cattle prod…
Brock: Yeah, would you put these somewhere in the appropriate?
Ben: Yeah. Yeah, is that when you use electrostimulation, you’re essentially hooking yourself up to an external brain that causes your muscles to contract and often causes your muscles to contract more forcefully than you would normally recruit them and you know, probably the…
Brock: Can you please explain what do you mean by hooking it up to an external brain?
Ben: Okay so electrostim device comes with a control panel that allows you to choose a specific frequency and intensity of the muscle recruitment which is more or less a shock right? That’s all it is. And you place the electrodes over let’s say your quads, and then you put in on and it recruits a ton of muscle fibers and often recruits the more violently and forcefully than you would recruit them yourself, especially for using one of these units like a Compex or even like you know, the real gold standard – it’s like an 8,000 to 10,000 dollar unit versus a Compex which is closer to a thousand dollars but there’s more expensive one that’s called an ARPwave. And these things you know, I actually you know, talked about Instagram earlier, I’ve also got an Instagram video up recently, me down at Paleo FX doing one of these ARPwave sessions on my biceps and it’s incredibly uncomfortable and I would even say painful to be stimulated to that extent. But you learn how to focus and distract your mind from the discomfort and the pain.
And eventually, by the time you finished you’ve just got this big rush of endorphins and you’ve worked your muscles much harder than you would normally be able to work if you were just contracting them yourselves, all on your own without like some kind of a device controlling you. So it’s kinda of the same the way that like a treadmill would push you to run for a longer period of time and consistently faster pace than you would normally run yourself – things with electrostim unit that’s just grabbing muscles more consistently and forcefully than you might with your own brain do it yourself. So, I actually am a fan of throwing in a little bit of electrostimulation training here and there and I think that’s a great with increased pain tolerance and threshold as well. And then, the last thing and I know a lot of people hear me joke about this but actually it does work. The use of psychoactive substances particularly of the THC, if it’s within the bounds of legality where you’re at, using like about five to ten milligrams of THC allows you to focus and almost gives you a little bit of like tunnel vision during a work-out but I found that – for especially like longer cardiovascular or endurance based work-outs or you need that combination of focus and pain tolerance and chronic competitive motion and pounding. And also something that’s not super complex because I do find that would use as something like THC, sometimes your motor coordination can slip a little bit – not a lot. Not like a funny way like you know, like a Muppet playing around as you’re exercising but more like you know, if you were to ask me to pull off like a heavy dead, a heavy squat, some muscle ups and maybe like a pistol single leg squat – I probably be able to do those better without the influence of something like THC. But for a long focused work-out for which you just need a slight increase in pain tolerance, I actually found that to be a useful approach and I mean you know, taken to the extreme, I actually finished up a work-out after about ten milligrams of THC and had a tweaked calf that I didn’t even noticed. The calf was injured until about a couple hours later, after the THC had worn off, so I mean you gotta be careful with this sometimes you light up to push you’re almost too much. But even a psychoactive substance like that can actually help and I would say that would follow from the balance of something that I would recommend, and that I have used myself for increase in pain tolerance during a long tough work-out. So, that be another one and of course you know, adhere to use soda, and water and then see they avoid regulations know that’s illegal and you know, under all those three governing bodies but it’s certainly something that you could use for example during training so.
Sol: Hi Ben and Brock. It’s Sol from sunny Sta. Fe, I just saw an ad for this new $200 body fat composition gadget Skulpt and I’m wondering if you have any experience with it? Does it really is good as their marketing material makes it sound? Can you really easily figure out your body composition at uses this bioelectrical impedance which is why it’s used in those cheap body fat scales would apparently this approach that they’re using is so much better. Anyway, I’ll shut up now and listen to what you have to say about this. Thanks very much. Love your show, bye.
Brock: Have you ever seen this Skulpt gadget?
Ben: You know, I was actually just speaking at a conference at Napa Valley and they gave away and I think Skulpt is one of their sponsors, so they gave away a number of these devices. And I actually thought that it was just you know, like the body-fat scale that you stand on or the hand-held device that you hold at the gym.
Ben: There’s a BIA like a bioelectrical impedance, right?
Ben: And that’s certainly something that you know, it’s been around for a long time. And you know, the BIA is… well, it’s based off of the speed with which an electrical signal will travel through the body. So bioelectrical impedance analysis essentially you know if you’re standing on a scale, it tells you how fat you are, it applies a current to one foot, it measures the voltage of the opposite of the fingertip and calculates the impedance of your entire body to that electrical signal, and because that signal will balance a different velocity is off bone versus fat versus muscle. What happens is that scale has built-in equation in it that’s been validated, it’s called the BIA to body composition equation.
And so, it’s estimating your fat mass and your fat pre-mass based on an equation that’s been validated against other methods of body-fat measurement, specifically a hydrostatic weighing or underwater weighing. And then also DEXA which is traditionally something you’d use to measure your bone density, but also something that can be used to you know, as a full body scan to measure your body fat and specifically your body fat distribution. So bioelectrical impedance is something that’s been around for a long time, it’s basically whole body impedance right? Whether you’re standing on a scale or whether you’re holding a bioelectrical impedance device, it’s measuring from your hands through whole body, from your foot through whole body, coming back in feeding into the equation and giving you a ballpark estimate of your body fat percentage. When you look at bioelectrical impedance it’s somewhat accurate, if you’re dehydrated over hydrated, if you’re very skinny, if you’re very over weight, if you’re measuring at a different time of day each day which would mean you’re in a different set of hydration – it’s not super accurate. But if you’re measuring in the same state at the same time of day, in the same state of hydration and you’re not obese and you’re also not excessively skinny, you can get a decent number from bioelectrical impedance analysis. But the Skulpt, contrary to what I think a lot people think, is not actually bioelectrical impedance analysis. It’s actually something called electrical impedance myography or E-I-M and it’s actually pretty straight forward – you uses device and applies an alternating electrical current across your skin and it measures the resulting voltage change in a specific area of the body – rather than measuring your whole body, your measuring specific areas of the body. And this electrical impedance myography was originally used and designed and the Skulpt device could be use for this as well to measure the quality of the actual muscle. That’s the ‘M’ in E-I-M, it’s stands for myography which actually means the description of the muscles – that’s what it means. So, what this technology has been used for in the past has been to evaluate the strength of patience with neuromuscular disorders, because what happens is the current will flow differently through a muscle that has like dents quality strong fibers versus like weak fibers or fibers that have some kind of neuromuscular disease or like a muscle wasting in them. So that’s the idea behind this E-I-M but it turns out that it can be used because it simply measuring impedance in specific area of the body, it can be use to actually approximates body fat as well. So you know, think of it this way, if you think say like your legs is a bunch of cells, charge is flowing around the cells or through the cells and what happens is the interior of the cell conducts a charge but the bio-layer of the cell membrane is fatty layer of cell membrane doesn’t really conduct a charge, it access a capacitor, right? Kind of like stores a charge. And so what’s happening is when you’re using electrical impedance myography, you’re measuring how fast an electrical current will travel through that extra cellular path. So ultimately, I know it sounds that a little bit complex, but what this Skulpt is promising to do is measure the specific quality of the muscle and then also the body fat in one small localized area of the body. The problem is that unlike bioelectrical impedance because this is so new, it hasn’t been validated against like a DEXA scan, it hasn’t been validated against kind of the gold standard of body fat measurement which would be underwater weighing. And so I’d say that even though it’s looks promising, I can’t speak to the accuracy of it at all. You know, it does look cool and probably some of the bioelectrical impedance that something that you could use as long as you use that in the same state of hydration every day, and you follow the rules and use it. I think the way that it works is you measures specific areas of your body, like your legs, your arms, whatever you know kind of like skin calipers you measures three different areas or seven different areas and you come up with approximate body fat – same thing or something like this. If you really truly want to get the most accurate body fat measurement whatever, you would use underwater weighing or you’d use what’s called the DEXA scan.
If you want to get you know, approximation you’d use something like this bioelectrical impedance or this something like the Skulpt device. You know another one will be there’s one called Bod Pod which is measuring…
Brock: That’s what I was gonna say.
Ben: how much air your body displaces when you sit inside a chamber and then that measures your body density and then you estimate your body fat. But ultimately, you know I would say that you know, unless you’re planning and you know competing as like a bodybuilder and your trying to figure it out the difference between like whatever 5% body fat and 4% body fat: something like this is gonna give you… you know, a ballpark just like a Fitbit, right? Will give you a ballpark of calories yes, it’s not gonna be incredibly accurate but it’ll at least gives you an approximation. Starts with the Skulpt devices – it’s not bioelectrical impedance, it’s something new, what I think is cool is it could potentially tell you the quality of the actual muscle which could be interesting if you’re you know, say like out of shape and started again lifting weights and you wanna see how your muscles are responding. But ultimately it could be interesting, we’ll let’s put an Amazon link to this in the show notes so we can make money whenever everybody rushes out by their Skulpt.
Brock: You actually have one?
Ben: I don’t have one. You know and I believe I wanna say somebody offered to send me one, ‘cause I get offers for to get these gadgets all the time and frankly I don’t really measure body fat that often, I don’t see it’s being something that I would personally use you know, I just, it’s not really a metric I pay much attention to a body fat. I pay more attention to performance, to sleep, at a heart rate variability, there’s some other things you know, qualitatively I pay attention to performance quantitatively, I measure my heart rate variability every morning. You know, and I don’t really worry too much for a body fat so, just because I’m a skinny ass guy.
Brock: Your ass is skinny.
Ben: So yeah. So, I guess I’m speaking of being a skinny ass guy might as well jump into this week’s review, what do you think?
Ben: Alright. Well here’s the way it works if you’re listening in. If you leave your review if you go to iTunes and you leave this show a review. All the strange things that we fill your head with and that makes you happy, and you want to actually give us stars, go to iTunes, leave us a review and if you hear your review read on a show, then just email [email protected]. Let us know that we read you review on the show, give us your address and your T-shirt size and we’ll send you a BPA-free water bottle that you can clean with vinegar and baking soda or bleach depending on your fancy. We’ll send you a really cool tech T-shirt, not one of this big, cotton tense but natural really cool tight fitting t-shirt that makes your packs look awesome. And then we’ll send you a beanie, a nice beanie that you can either sleep in or give to a homeless person. But either way…
Brock: I got all excited at Paleo FX as somebody wearing a BG fitness T-shirt and say, “Oh, cool!” and then I found out that he actually works for you.
Ben: Ah, yes. Those are some of the people you’ll see wearing a T-shirt that aren’t people who work for – nobody else who wear those things in public. So anyways though, we have a review this week from Swopeyz?
Ben: Swopeyz on iTunes and Brock what Swopeyz had to say?
Brock: Oh, the title is “Awaken Your Mind and Body with this Podcast.”
Ben: Mmm. It almost sounds like it should be read with a movie announcer voice.
Brock: “Awaken Your Mind and Body with this Podcast.”
Ben: Or Sean Connery.
Brock: “Awaken Your Mind and Body with this Podcast.”
Ben: Go ahead.
Brock: “I thought I knew I could amount to what health and fitness called fitness information until I tuned into Ben and got blown away. I basically hit the empty the trash icon on my brain desktop”. Is that good or my…
Ben: No, it’s good. It’s fantastic. It’s a little bang but it works.
Brock: “And started just rewiring myself to Ben’s programs and info. Listen to this and transform yourself today, not tomorrow, okay. Stop reading and download”. I don’t know what that turn into at the end.
Ben: But I’m not quite sure who Sean Connery is superior, Brock.
Brock: Well, we’ll have to get this money penny in here to find out.
Ben: Alright. We should probably end before we digress into worst accents than Sean Connery. But in the meantime…
Brock: That’s just ridiculousness.
Ben: Go to bengreenfieldfitness.com/2 no, 316 for the show notes. Stay tune next weekend for something else.
Brock: Something else and?
Ben: And visit bengreenfieldfitness.com for all your health and fitness advice. Goodbye.
Visit bengreenfieldfitness.com for even more cutting edge fitness, nutrition, and performance advice.
May 6, 2015 Podcast: Exercising In The Heat vs. Sauna Training, Should You Use Colloidal Minerals, Healthiest Way To Clean Water Bottles, How To Increase Pain Tolerance During Workouts, and Using Skulpt To Measure Body Fat.
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- SUPER simple but accurate equation for your resting metabolic rate if you already know body fat %: 12*Lean Body Mass + 2*Fat Mass. Or you can use the calculators at GetFitGuy.com.
- Interesting…4 ways to know if your beef is grass-fed.
- Women get injured from hips down, men from feet up.
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May 22-26, 2015: Custom Father-Son Wilderness Program with Ben Greenfield. Imagine taking five days with your son(s), and connecting deeply with nature and your boy(s) through ancestral wilderness survival skills, all within a small “tribe” of other fathers & sons that are like minded with similar values. Since the dawn of time, fathers and sons have bonded deeply in and with the wilderness. Ancestral wilderness skills have an innate ability to deepen the Father-Son connection like nothing else. During this custom Father-Son Wilderness Program, we’ll make fire by friction, build and sleep in natural shelters, learn traditional hunting and gathering techniques, and track wild animals. Primitive wilderness survival isn’t a “Man vs. Wild” scenario, it is an opportunity to build a deep relationship with the Earth. As you and your son do so, you’ll find that your relationship with your son deepens in powerful ways. Click here for all details and to register.
June 3-6, 2015: Nourish Vermont: Traditional Foods and Health Gathering. Come learn the core principles of traditional diets, inspired by the teachings of the Weston A. Price Foundation, and explore how embracing this lifestyle can contribute to one’s health, wellness and longevity. Hear Ben and Jessa speak on ancestral food preparation methods, and enjoy nutrient-dense, locally and organically grown vegetables, pastured and grass–fed meat, raw dairy products, and fermented vegetables. Click here for all details and to register.
Grab this Official Ben Greenfield Fitness Gear package that comes with a tech shirt, a beanie and a water bottle.
And of course, this week’s top iTunes review – gets some BG Fitness swag straight from Ben – leave your review for a chance to win some!
As compiled, deciphered, edited and sometimes read by Brock Skywalker Armstrong, the Podcast Sidekick and Audio Ninja.
Exercising In The Heat vs. Sauna Training
Whole Doods: Ben talks a lot about Cold Thermogenesis and using saunas for fitness and health but what about just exercising in a hot location. He lives in Sierra Leone and when he works out, it is like he is always in a sauna and his heart rate is just jacked immediately and he sweats like a pig. Is he getting any added benefit by combining his hot environment with working out?
In my response, I recommend:
-This podcast on How To Use Heat Exposure
Should You Use Colloidal Minerals?
Wade: He recently heard about colloidal minerals from a friend of his (Dr Joel Wallick) and is wondering what you know about them and what your take is on them.
Healthiest Way To Clean Water Bottles
Meg: She is wondering what you use to clean your bike bottles and straws. She usually soaks hers in hot water and some bleach but is wondering if that is the best thing for her. What do you do?
In my response, I recommend:
How To Increase Pain Tolerance During Workouts
Lara: She wants to know how you deal with discomfort and pain and what it takes to get through training with the rules you set for yourself. She uses distraction and music and has read how effective that can be and she is wondering what your view is on this. She does have a lot of pain and distraction works well for her but is looking for some of your secrets.
Using Skulpt To Measure Body Fat
Sol: He’s been hearing a lot about this new $200 body fat composition gadget called Skulpt and is wondering if it is really as good as their marketing material states? It uses electrical impedance which is in those cheaper devices but apparently they do it better. What do you think?